Press Release

IACHR Hails Selection of First Afro-descendant President of Brazil's Supreme Federal Court

November 29, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) hails Joaquim Barbosa, who created history on November 22, 2012, when he was sworn in as Brasil's first Afro-descendant President of the Supreme Federal Court for a two-year tenure. His designation represents a significant milestone in the advancement of racial equality in Brasil, the country with the largest Afro-descendant population in the Americas.

In his rise to the top of Brasil's judiciary, Joaquim Barbosa provides inspiration not only to other Brasilian Afro-descendants, but to all peoples of the region in the quest to eliminate racism and racial discrimination in the Americas.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 140/12